tv PBS News Hour PBS September 12, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> wooduff: president obama today condemned the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya that killed four americans, including the ambassador. good evening. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight: we get the latest on the deadly assault, believed to have been planned in advance and sparked by an anti-muslim internet video. >> woodruff: plus, we examine the move by governor romney to criticize the president's handling of the libya tinderbox. was it justified or not? we hear from both sides. >> ifill: then, jeffrey brown
looks at how the latest iphone upgrade is accelerating competition in the smartphone industry. >> woodruff: are chemicals sprayed in oregon's forests dangerous or not? we have a report from our partners at the center for investigative reporting. >> they're spraying with helicopters all these ridged tops, so everything they're spraying up top eventually gets down to all of these residents. >> forced application of herbicides is done in accordance with all state laws. and we believe it does not represent an unreasonable harm. >> ifill: and margaret warner gets a snapshot of poverty in america, still at record-high levels. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: questions swirled today about the death of the u.s. ambassador to libya and its implications. he died last night in the eastern city of benghazi after thousands of people surrounded and then attacked the american consulate there. margaret warner begins our coverage. >> warner: u.s. ambassador chris stevens was the first american envoy to die in the line of duty in more than 30 years.
he and three other state department officers were killed in the assault tuesday night in benghazi. stevens had been trying to evacuate staffers from the u.s. consulate when gunmen with automatic weapons and rocket- propelled grenades stormed the lightly guarded compound and set it on fire. the identity of the attackers and their motivations remained murky. but in washington, white house officials said militants tied to al qaeda may have used protests against an anti-islam film as a diversion. this morning, president obama, with secretary of state clinton at his side, praised the slain ambassador. >> it's especially tragic that chris stevens died in benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save. at the height of the libyan revolution, chris led our diplaticost in benazi. with characteristic skill, courage and resolve, he built partnerships with libyan revolutionaries and helped them as they planned to build a new libya.
>> warner: flags over the white house, the capitol and the state department were lowered to half staff, and tributes to stevens poured in. a middle east veteran fluent in arabic and french, stevens had been on the job since may, introducing himself to the libyan people via youtube. >> i look forward to exploring those ssibilitiewith you a we work tether to build a free democratic and prosperous libya. see you soon. >> warner: killed alongside stevens was sean smith, a state department officer, and two americans as-yet unidentified. in her own statement today, secretary clinton condemned the attacks in the wake of u.s. support for the libyan revolution. >> many americans are asking-- indeed, i asked myself-- how could this happen? how could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?
this question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding the world can be. but we must be clear-eyed even in our grief. this was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or government of libya. >> warner: the president said the united states woulwork with the libyan government to track down the perpetrators. >> today, we mourn four more americans who represent the very best of the united states of america. we will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. and make no mistake, justice will be done. >> warner: for now, the pentagon ordered special units of marines to libya called "fast" teams, like this detachment shown training, to reinforce security at diplomatic sites in libya. and from tripoli, the president
of libya's national assembly echoed the words of his american counterparts. >> ( translated ): we apologize to the united states of america and to the american people and to the whole world for what happened, and at the same time we expect the rest of the world to help us face these cowardly criminal acts. we refuse to use our country's land as a scene of cowardly reprisals. >> warner: those reprisals came apparently in response to internet clips of a film titled "the innocence of muslims" that crudely defamed the prophet muhamm. a california man calling himself sam bacile has said he produced the movie. it was also promoted recently by florida preacher terry jones, whose threats to burn the koran led to widespread chaos and deaths in afghanistan two years ago. but recent coverage of the film in egyptian media helped propel the protests, which started in cairo several days ago.
conservative islamists, some who have long camped outside the u.s. embassy, scaled the compound walls yesterday and tore down the american flag. they replaced it with a black banner proclaiming "there is no god but god, and muhammad is his prophet." egyptian authorities announced today they've arrested four people in connection with that rioting. the new egyptian president, muhammad morsi, asked american authorities to take action against the filmmaker but has not so far condemned the attack on the u.s. embassy afghan president hamid karzai also criticized the film without mentioning the violence, and the afghan taliban urged muslims to attack u.s. troops in revenge. hours before the attack, he u.s. embassy in cairo decried what it called "efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of muslims." that drew criticism from republican presidential nominee mitt romney. in a statement last night, he charged:
the obama campaign rebuked romney, but the candidate reiterated his statement this morning in jacksonville, florida. >> i think it's a terrible course to-- for america to stand in apology for our values, that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response of the united states must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. and apology for america's values is never the right course. >> warner: the president visited the state department and met with diplomats and staff. later, he told cbs news:
>> ifill: for more on the developments of the last 24 hours, i'm joined now by two people with deep experience in libya. robin wright is a journalist and author who new ambassador stevens personally and reported exnsively from libya. and frank wehrey is aenior sociate with e carneg endowment for international piece. robin wright, tell us about ambassador stevens. >> chris was an extraordinary envoys in that he understood the streets, as well as the elite. he spoke language. he understood the culture dispp he had seen libya through three of its faces. he spent two years as the number two during muammar qaddafi's rule at the american embassy. and he state department year during the transition as the liaison to the traditional national cocil in lia bsed in bengazhi, and then he returned to establish the
american embassy in the post-gaddafi era. he was willing to get out, willing to face the dangers of a country with 300 militias, going through a fragile transition, and try to change a country that had been the nemesis of the united states for four years to an ally. >> ifill: frank wehrey, did any of this surprise you? did it seem unusual? the latest reports we're hearing was this attack was actually planned? >> tragically, i think there were a lot of indicators that this was coming. what you had was since the july 7 elections in libya, security really declined, especially in bengazhi. this was unnotice by a lot of western press. you can daily incidents of car bombings, attacks on gaddafi officials, attacks on western icons like the red cross, and in may, an attack on a consulate in bengazhi. this was not the first of its
kind. this is really a problem of the akness of the government and the weakness of the police forces throughout the country. >> ifill: put one of the things we've been hearing to the extent we've been hearing anything from libya, is how welcoming libyans were and how even ambassador stevens had been quoted as saying how much better things had gotten. was he misguide or were we? >> i think the majority of libyans are overwhelmingly welcome of the united states and the role of nato in facilitating the transition to post-qaddafi rule. as you see in egypt, the are hard liners sensitive of the role of the united states in the case of egypt inflamed by a film about the prophet mohammed, that play into passions. it may also be you have an al qaeda affiliate involved in some way in the libyan attack. we don't know, but there are early indications that what happened inning bengazhi and cairo may actually have slightly
different causes. >> ifill: there may have been a retaliatory effect. perhaps. >> and i think just to echo, i think libyans culturally, temperamentally, historically, are not predisposed to support this sort of violent radical islamism that is motivating these attacks. in many of the previous instances of violence, you've seen libyans mobilize in protests or on social media against the violence. and as robin mentioned, this is a country that is still very grateful to the west for the intervention that toamed gaddafi. >> ifill: what do we know, robin, about this video, this film, however you choose to describe it, that was posted online and sudnly caught fire this week. >> very little. there have been different reports in the first 24 hours any bwho may have been behind it, different sources, people from different parts of the world, different religions. and it's kind of dangerous to get into that turf until we really know more about where it came from. but it did portray an excerpt
from it that was put on youtube, actions by the prophet mohammed, that people in the region felt were sensitive in the same way that christians might feel about the portrayal of jesus in controversial. this is a sensitive issue for people of all faiths, and muslims at this particular juncture, so sensitive about the roles and tensions of the outside world, in countries as they are reclaiming control of their own faith and fate, political fate, you know, can trigger exceptional or extraordinary responses. but, again, by a tiny minority. when you look at egypt, 2,000 people in a country with 85 million people. that's almost infii tes mali small but and it was something that echoed takeoveof the u. embassy in iran in 1979. it clearly inflames us as well. the tragedy this is a very small minority of people in both
countries. >> ifill: tell me about the salafi muslims. they may have been stirring up some of this? >> they have certainly behind the behind some of the attacks in libya. they've attacked other western targets. my reading of the salafis in libya, is they're such a marginal minority, and libyans are really presupposed to more moderate interpretation, and we saw this in the elections, that the salafis are grasping at relevance and they're trying to rattle their sabers. they're trying to muscle their way to prominence through expriens this is not the strategy of a movement that has grass-roots support or winning movement. they're a fringe movement. that said, they can still cause violence. they can still play a spoiler role, and importantly, they're highlighting the weakness of the government. what you're seeing is a lot of libyans, they're mad at the salafis, but they're turning their anger tohe government saying why aren't you providing
security. >> ifill: one of the interesting thing is the difference between the reaction in libya. we heard the prime minister denounce this. the u.s. ambassador from libya to the u.s. also denouncing it. we haven't gotten the same response in egypt for the breach of the u.s. embassy there. >> yes, it was very strike, the different responses in tripoli and in cairo. and i think that was a sub-theme of the remarks by both the secretary of state and the president today, conditionalline immediate and heavy-hearted response by the libyan government, the role the libyan forces played in trying to fight back those mobbing the consulate in bengazhi, and then trying to save ambassador stevens and his colleagues. and by the absence of words about egypt, it was almost as if saying, and where were you?" i think this is a tragic moment. the timing of this, not just because of 9/11, but also because both of these countries need u.s.-- in the case of libya technological gical help, and et
financial help-- to deal with the issues that triggered the uprising in the first place. you just had 100 top-level executives from american corporations in cairo to talk about private investment, helping create jobs, which is what really is so critical in stabilization. and these ciens of attacks in cairo and bengazhi undermine american faith, business or diplomatibbic in the future of these countries. >> ifill: i think most americans looked back on the arab spring and said good, done. that's all taken care of. instead of wonder ifing both of these event happening within 24 hours in two different capitals should be sending us some warning signal, something the u.s. should be on alert for. >> i think it's an indication that revolutions are a long-term process, and the initial victors can sometimes lose out to more radical actors. and i think importantly, the international community should not disengage. especially libya. the country is grateful for our
assistance but they still need more assistance. >> chris' message would have been do not waiver. that's the o thing he would have wanted me than anything, that this commitment to try to help stabilize fragile democracies is really what he had devoted his life to. and that-- the challenge now is to instill the rule of law and help them, not only find those who perpetrated, but to bring them to justice in fair trials and to be a contrast to, for example, the execution of muammar gaddafi but put them in on trial in ways these are new democracies committed to the principles of law and order. >> ifill: that's what we'll be tching for next. robin wright, frank wehrey, thank you both very much. >> woodruff: coming up, we'll look at how libyan developments were drawn into the presidential campaign. also ahead: unveiling the iphone 5; spraying herbicides in oregon's forests; and counting poor and uninsured americans. but first, the other news of the
day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: two industrial fires in pakistan claimed the lives of more than 280 people overnight. 263 of them died at a garment factory in karachi. firefighters there said many of the victims could not escape becse there were no emergency exits or basic safety equipment. the plant had only one accessible exit, and all the other doors were locked. the other fire killed 25 people at a shoe factory in lahore. president obama had a late-night phone conversation with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu on iran's nuclear ambitions. later, the white house insisted there's no rift between them. netanyahu had publicly complained about the failure to set "red lines" for iran while at the same time restraining israel from any military action. germany's highest court today okayed participation in a huge fund to bail out indebted euro- zone nations. it's designed to provide up to $640 billion. germany is expected to put up about a quarter of the total. in berlin, chancellor angela merkel addressed parliament and
welcomed the court's decision. >> sreenivasan: opponents of the >> ( translated ): today, germany is once again sending a strong signal to europe and beyond. germany is assuming with determination its responsibilitials the biggest economy and as a reliable partner in europe. >> sreenivasan: opponents of the bailout fund had argued it violates germany's constitution. wall street turned cautious today. stocks mostly marked time as investors waited for a possible federal reserve decision tomorrow on new economic stimulus. the dow jones industrial average gained ten points to close at 13,333. the nasdaq rose nearly ten points to close at 3,114. archaeologists in britain may have found the remains of king richard iii. he was killed in battle in 1485 and buried in a church in the english city of leicester. today, the site is a downtown parking lot. an archeological dig began three weeks ago, and researchers quickly found remnants of medieval walls. now, they've turned up the skeleton of an adult male with signs of battle wounds and
curvature of the spine. that's consistent with descriptions of richard iii in shakespeare and other sources. a d.n.a. comparison with a direct descendant is now under way. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and we take a look at how the explosive events in libya spilled over onto the campaign trail. as we reported earlier, the romney camp started the spat last night, and it picked up from there. we asked both campaigns for a spokesperson to explain their side, and joining us are: former senator norm coleman of minnesota, an adviser to the romney campaign; and longtime diplomat and former ambassador to nato, nicholas burns. and just to clarify, you're supporting the president but you're not part of the campaign. >> that's right. >> woodruff: let me start with you, senator coleman, last night, what provoked the romney camp to issue a statement criticizing a statement by the u.s. embassy in cairo and criticizing the obama
administration about something that had come out hours earlier? >> well, first, the embassy is part of the obama administration. i think last i heard the state department was still part of the administration. and the statement that came out of the state department was absolutely outrageous. it was sympathizing with the protesters, rather than defending american sovereignty and american values. and so the governor thought it is appropriate-- it's never too early to defend american values. what's fascinating about that is the obama administration then distanced itself from that statement. i believe after governor romney issued his statement. and i will say that-- i know ambassador patterson very, very well-- >> woodruff: this is the ambassador to egypt. >> but you don't send those statements out without clearing them with the white house. that was a statement. it was an outrageous statement, and the governor said what should have been said, and interestingly enough, the white houseots own also separated itself from that statement later on. >> woodruff: your spoint that the embassy statement was sympathizing with the
protesters. so why was it wrong for administration to do that is it? >> well, first of all, judy, i just want to say a tragic day for the united states dor the united states foreign service. we lost a great young ambassador and three outstanding diplomats. it's one of the blackest days in the history of the american foreservice, and we go all the way back to the founding of this country. >> i want to agree with the ambassador on that, too. >> i want to start there. look, i watched president obama's statement, and watched secretary clinton's statement. president obama is running against governor romney. governor romney is not running against the american embassy in cairo. the statements made by the president and secretary of state in no way, shape, or form apologized-- that was the charge-- f the united states or sympathized with the terrorists. and it's important to get the chronology right. the statement made by the embassy in i can roy was issued before the demonstrations. they have a big demonstrations
coming. they evacuatedly the embassy. they're worried about physical violence. they simply were trying to say, "we don't agree with this film in california that's inciting violence." i don't think it was right for governor romney to have just jumped in and judged our embassy when he didn't know all the facts. >> woodruff: did the romney campaign know the timing of this before it it issued that criticism. >> of course they knew the timing. what's amazing is the obama administration comes back and separates themselves from this statement. there was no separation from the embassy from the time they issued that statement. until after governor romney says this is outrageous. they did ?iez. their focus was not on the fact at any time before governor romney issued a statement, that the embassy walls are scaled, that the american flag is torn down, that a black flag is put up until governor romney says this is outrageous-- first, governor romney said, and today made it very clear, we mourn the death of the ambassador and three others. that's critical.
that's the most important thing here. in terms of american policies and more than values-- in a romney administration that kind of statement is not going to be coming out of american embassies. >> woodruff: wasn't the timing important here, because the statement was issued hours before there was a breach of the embassy. i mean, i don't want to put words in the mouths of either one of you. >> well, it was. here's what i think happened. obviously, there's tis fi tt wapruced i california, vile, hateful film, deriding the prophet mohammed. this incited demonstrations. the embassy in cairo knew a demonstration was country and said, "the united states government does not support this hateful film that was made. they're trying to protect themselves. maybe the statement wasn't perfect, but i think-- look, i've worked for both democratic and republican administrations. i'm not a political person. i think the that governor romney made a mistake by just jumping in and send-guessgur embassy at a time when it was
being attacked. i think he should have waited for all the facts to come out. >> woodruff: what about that point? >> my point again is the obama administration until the time that governor romney said-- the statement is owmous-- did they took another approach, take another look at thing. from the beginning, where the demstriertz who bielt way are out there all the time-- their statement is to focus on something some crazy guy in america. in america we have freedom of speech-- >> woodruff: you mean the person who made the lm. >> which is outrageous, and terrible. we have that in america. it's called freedom of speech. people say terrible things. but from the embassy, from the president, from the administration, you don't-- what you do is find some kind of almost equivalency here that somehow having this kind of statement gives some justification to whatever acts then took place. and there was no, no clarification until governor romney stepped forward and said this simply isn't right. as i said, it's never too early to stand for american values. >> i have great respect for
senator coleman. i have to disagree. i have served in embassy cairo and other exwaes, because of the time difference, you have to make the call you make in an emergency. i'm just trying to say i think governor romney should focus on president obama and not on the actions of an embassy under siege, under great tension. i looked at president obama's statement today, and secretary clinton's. they clearly came out, the first thing they did was condemn terrorism and protect our people. and call for the governments of libya and egypt to be accountable and to arrest these people and bring them to justice. i think that's the proper way for the united states government to work and the governor should have focused on that. >> judy, we're focused on this portion of the governor's statement. what the governor is focused on is leadership. and the fact is the middle east is a mess. we're dealing with israel right now, could the prime minister get a meeting with the president or not. this president had fund raisers
and 100 rounds of golf and couldn't have a meeting with the israeli prime minister. we subcontracted our syrian policy to kofi annan. the statement of governor romney was not just about condemning or saying that we shou have stood up for american values. he talked about the failure of american leadership and, ambassador, is the middle east doing much better today than it was four years ago? i don't think. i don't think egypt is doing weather. i don't think iran is further way weigh from having a nuclear weapon. i don't think the israeli prime minister is more confident in american support. >> woodruff: comment. >> i don't think it's appropriate to somehow say the united states government is in control of every event in the middle east. you can't ask the question, "was the middle east better off four years ago today,whenever, wen the yiewt is one actor-- albeit an important one. let's judge the administration fairly. they did the right thing in egypt. they certainly did the right thing in intervening in libya. one of cruel ironies here and a reason we shouldn't inject
politics in my view is we helped the libyan people to gain their freedom. we are the ones who helped throw qadavi out and it was good to see the libyan government make the statement that they regretted this and apologize for it it it. it was disappointing to see the new president of egypt did not apologize. >> woodruff: we're going to have to leave it there. senator norm coleman, nicholas burns, we thank you both. >> woodruff: and you can watch today's comments by president obama, secretary of state clinton and mitt romney on our web site. >> ifill: now, what's behind the world's most valued company's latest moves as apple introduces new products while applying some competitive pressure of its own. jeffrey brown has our story. >> today we're going to introduce iphone 5. ( applause )
>> brown: it's one of the most- anticipated rites of the tech world: the unveiling of a new product by apple. and today it was the new iphone 5-- thinner, lighter and boasting a larger screen. c.e.o. tim cook spoke to the crowd in san francisco. >> i am so incredibly proud of everyone at apple that helped make today occur. these products are simply amazing. >> brown: today's announcement comes amid much change and some drama in the smartphone and tablet marketplace. last month, apple won a major court ruling after a federal jury in california found that samsung infringed on software and design patents related to mobile devices. apple was awarded $1 billion in damages, and it is now seeking a ban on many of those samsung devices. at the same time, the competition has only grown more fierce. last week, amazon unveiled new versions of its kindle, including the kindle fire hd tablet, seen as a direct competitor to apple's ipad.
>> the all-new kindle fire h.d. >> brown: companies like nokia, motorola and sony have also touted new product releases. the biggest battle for the future may be between apple and google, which provides its android operating platform to more than 65% of smartphones around the world. in today's launch, apple fired at least one very targeted shot promoting its own maps app on the new iphone 5 in place of the popular google maps. for more about these battles in the tech world, we turn to: cecilia kang of the "washington post"; and charles golvin, an analyst with forrester research. set the scene for us. as the new iphone comes out, what is the position of apple today? it clearly is a giant but does it have reason to be looking at its shoulder on now. >> apple is at an inflection point. they are the number one technology company in terms of innovations but the numbers have
shifted, in that there are more smartphones and tablets that operate on the android platform than apple's ios platform. and the battle or competition has become downright ferocious. it's really a battle between apexpel google for what's become a completely mobile, mainstream mobile nation and mobile world. people are snapping up smartphones and tablets with no real end to their desire to have more and get the latest versions. >> brown: charles golvin, how could you describe the state of play in the mobile market? >> i would call it a battle of more than just devices. it's battle of ecosyster platform. not just apexpel google but mieft and amazon. and it's a battle for customers' loyalty as apple secures that loyalty with iphone and ipad and the mac and icloud, and google with all of their services piled on top of android, microsoft tries the same thing with windows 8 on
p.c.s and tablets and phones. and they're all trying to secure that loyalty of consumers and keep them within the orbit of their devices, software, and content. >> brown: y udhe word "ecosystem" that's what you mean, more than one device, putting it all together? >> it's actually that, but not just the devices but also, as i said, the content, the music that you buy, the tv shows that you rent or buy, movies, books, magazines. all of that content that you enjoy, and your own personal information that you put in to these cloud services. they're all securing greater and greater loyalty or some might say lock-in, into those ecosystems. >> brown: cecilia, i want to get to the apple and samsung verdict, because it hammond i think just as we were about to go to the conventions and we didn't get a chance to talk about it on this program. what impact does it have on this market that we're talking about? >> sure, well, in the nopt too
distant future there will be a decision on whether the a court will decide to ban eight phones that apple thinks samsungs that created infringing technology of their patents. so there will be actually potentially a block of sales of some smartphones in the u.s. market. but the bigger battle really is over how this-- how the decisions in the court affect technology and innovation going down the line. if apple won a big verdict, as you mentioned in the setup, and some people say that you may actually see consumers getting lots of different-- more types of innovative products. not every phone, not every tablet will be black or white or rectangular and rounded corners. you might see a lot more design innovation going forward. you may also see companies grappling with their product line and production lines and assemblies and what that could do to trickling down on prices on consumers.
it could be, some argue, mean slightly higher prices for consumers going into the holiday season or even into next year. those are lots of big questions. as eric said, what's happened is because there is so much competition, not just between google and apple but between-- including amazon, et cetera. they're all watching the patent cases closely to see what kind of innovation will come fort next so that ea company can, as they all do, fight to be the one-stop shop for anything a consumer wants to get over the web, over their device. >> brown: let me ask charles golvin over that, the impact of the verdict, both short, but more importantly as cecilia said, this long-term question of innovation. >> i basically agree. i think that even though the companies like samsung and other competitors, like htc and motorola, who use the android operating system, are being sent back to the dawing board to
figure out new ways of doing things that have become very accepted by consumers, things like pinch to zoom an imexpaj things like that, they're being sent back to the drawing board to figure out new ways to do that. that is the definition of innovation-- figuring new methods, new solutions, and i do believe we're going to see new industrial design, new features, new capabilities. we've already seen it somewhat coming from nokey aeven though it hasn't translated into sales. very different industrial design and look and feel to their devices. i think ultimately, despite the fact that there may be some interim price impact on consumers, in the long run, it's a good development because we're going to see more diversity and more innovation. >> brown: so, cecilia, coming back in our last couple of minutes here, to the iphone, and particularly the fight, say, with google. i mentioned i'm switching out the treatment of the maps of the
google maps. is something like that important? i me, it gets a lot of attention, and that's a popular app, but where does that-- how does that play in the discussion we're having? >> sure. there are two reasons why that's important. there's the business battle. these are two companies, google and apple, that were once friend. they've become fierce frenemmies, if you will. they're very much battling on the software side of things, as well as the device. but also for consumers you know, google has a pretty darn good map. and so for apple to try to compete with that map, you know, if you are locked in potentially, to the apple ecosystem, as charles mentioned, then it might be harder to get access to the google maps or other types of platform, software that isn't created by apple going down the road. and for a consumer, that means potentially less choice. so that's how consumers are affected by that. >> brown: let me just ask you,
charles golvin, briefly, in 30 seconds or so, the death of steve jobs, of course, there were a lot of questions about what this would mean for innovation. are we near the end? are we seeing the end of the product lines that he fluenced? >> no, i don't think so at all. in fact, one of the things that apple announced today, it's a small product, it's a new invation in their headphone design, but they mention that three years of research and development to produce that product, and we've seen from the samsung trial and other evidence that his involvement stretched back quite a far distance into early product design. so i think we're still going to see products come from apple that have steve jobs' fingerprint on them for at least another year and maybe two. >> brown: all right, charles golvin, cecilia kang, thank you both very much. >> woodruff: we head west now to rural oregon, known for its
forests and as a place where the timber industry is a major player in the economy. but there is growing concern from some residents about chemical spraying practices. the story comes from our partners at the center for investigative reporting produced this story. the correspondent is ingrid lobet. >> reporter: western oregon's beautiful forests and fish- filled streams are known as a paradise for nature lovers, but this is also one of the finest timber-growing regions in the world. with 30 million acres of forestland, oregon's timber industry generates $13 billion in sales each year. but in triangle lake, some residents worry that timber industry practices are exposing people to harm. >> i want to see one of those again. >> reporter: eron king and her family moved here six years ago. they bought a one-acre farm, wanting to raise their kids close to the land. >> when we found this place and were able to move in, we thought we had found it. this is it, this is where we are going to be the rest of our
lives. >> reporter: king knew she was moving into a timber area, but there was something she didn't realize. >> i knew clear-cutting happened, but i didn't know that the helicopter spray happened. >> reporter: this video, shot by king, shows the typical industry practice. after a clear cut, helicopters spray a potent mixture of herbicides to kill everything except fir seedlings. by eliminating plants that compete for sun and water, timber companies can grow the trees faster and harvest more frequently. residents like king complain they are repeatedly exposed to potentially harmful chemicals through the air and, possibly, the water. >> from up here on top of the ridge, what you can see is the big picture. they are spraying with helicopters, all these ridge tops. and so everything they are spraying up top eventually gets down to these residents.
>> reporter: concerned, king says she tried to find out what exactly was being sprayed. >> they give you this really long laundry list of what they could spray that day, but it doesn't tell you exactly what they are going to spray. and just knowing exactly when they are going to spray would be incredibly helpful. that way, i could vacate my land completely, although i don't feel i should have to. but i would love to get my kids out of here. >> reporter: instead, oregon's department of forestry sends out notifications like this one, giving a possible 12-month window for spraying and a long list of herbicides that could be used. there are a dozen different herbicides commonly sprayed on forests in oregon, including possible hormone disrupters like 2,4-d and atrazine. this oregon department of forestry map shows the extent of privately owned timberland where herbicides are routinely sprayed by companies like weyerhaeuser,
roseburg resources and seneca jones. but stu turner is expert o sticide accidents. he's told triangle lake residents the spraying being done in oregon is risky. >> now, you can see this is a clear-cut right here, where you can see the snow. and you look very closely here in the photo, you can see a spray helicopter. you can see one of the two rotors and you see the stream of spray that's falling behind the aircraft. you can see the ground is frozen; it's got snow on it. they're putting pesticides on snow. when that snow melts, it's going to go off in runoff. >> reporter: turner also says that in oregon's mountainous terrain, helicopters spray herbicides from much higher elevations than in crop agriculture, and that means the chemicals are more likely to drift down to where people live. >> they are playing with the most potent of our tools; they're playing with them at the
very highest rates allowable for any application. and they're playing with them under the most challenging application conditions and under worst-case scenarios for product leaving the field. >> reporter: the timber companies declined our repeated invitations for ierviews. they rerred us instead to a trade group, oregonians for food and shelter, where terry witt represented the industry for 25 years. >> forest application of herbicides is done in accordance with the label and in accordance with all state laws, and so we believe that if it's done responsibly and legally that it does not represent an unreasonable harm. >> reporter: delivering the herbicides via helicopter, witt says, is by far the best method. >> it's a very economical way to apply a uniform rate of pesticides according to the label. in many cases, the terrain is such that it becomes very impractical and very dangerous to send people on foot in areas to do spraying. >> reporter: witt says he hasn't heard of any cases of wide-scale herbicide contamination from the forest industry.
of course, none of this is an issue on federal land, where nearly all spraying has been banned in oregon since the 1980s, when residents successfully challenged the use of herbicides, including agent orange. jim furnish, a former forest service deputy chief, says his agency discovered that hand- tting unwanted brush was just as effective. >> suddenly, then, herbicides were no longer essential or necessary. maybe preferable economically, but you have to bear in mind this douglas fir timber is worth a lot of money, so you can afford more costly methods, provided that they are still effective and turn a handsome profit. >> reporter: but in triangle lake, opposition to the spraying has been growing. fed up with what they viewed as chemical trespass on their private property, residents banded together, complained to the state and finally contacted dr. dana barr, a national expert
in pesticide exposures at emory university. >> it seemed like a significant enough situation that it should have at least garnered some attention and should have been evaluated. >> reporter: barr tested the urine of 41 residents. >> i found breakdown products of the herbicides 2,4-d and atrazine in all of the urine samples that we tested. >> reporter: these herbicides don't stay in the body, so that meant people had beenxposed recently. >> it was not what i'm used to seeing, that we don't frequently detect these chemicals in urine samples. it was surprising to find it all of the samples tested. >> when dr. barr's sort of results came back, i was stunned. i was shocked. some of these subjects were children that just have never been exposed. they live in the country, and they live on a basically organic franchise on this little farm. so the only real source has to be the forestry.
>> reporter: dana barr's findings also caught the attention of oregon's health authority. it launched a two-year study with help from the centers for disease control. the first round of testing also found the herbicide 2,4-d in residents' urine. herbicides are designed to work on plants, but a growing body of research suggests some may have profound effects on humans. suzanne fenton works for the national institute of environmental health sciences. >> herbicides are understudied. there's not a lot of funding for it. but even worse than that is the fact that early life exposures to herbicides are really understudied. we know that many herbicides are endocrine disruptors. >> reporter: endocrine disruptors act like hormones, but they relay the wrong signals to and from the brain and reproductive system. fenton has found that mice whose mothers were exposed to atrazine for just three days while
pregnant experienced changes that lasted throughout their lives. atrazine is heavily used in oregon forestry. >> it can affect pubertal timing, so it can affect breast development during the period of puberty. it can then also... if it persists, if the effect persists, it can affect lactation. so it can affect the ability of the mom to provide nutrients to her offspring. >> reporter: syngenta, the company that manufactures atrazine, says on their web site that they stand firmly behind the safety of atrazine and that there are no known human health effects from the recommended use of this herbicide. undethe ighted scrutiny, timber companies quietly decided not to spray atrazine and 2,4-d near populated areas this spring. but that meant the state said it couldn't test for those chemicals, either. at a meeting held with area residents where those announcements were made, the state health department promised
residents that the study would resume in 2013. >> this investigation is ongoing. we are going to stay here. we will stay here. we are committed to this investigation. >> reporter: the industry says it welcomes the state's investigation into its spraying practices. >> and if there's data that shows that the practices need to be altered, the industry is more than willing to look at what recommendations could be employed. >> reporter: the only change many concerned residents will accept is for the governor to call a halt to spraying on company-owned forestland or, at least, they say, keep it away from where people live. >> woodruff: you can find a link to the original story from the center for investigative reporting on the rundown. >> ifill: finally tonight, the u.s. census weighed in today with the latest numbers on income, poverty and the uninsured in america. and again to margaret warner.
>> warner: the new report was a sobering reminder of how far the economy fell in the recession and the long road back. median household income slid for the second year to about $50,000, adjusted for inflation, the lowest level since the mid-90s. two million more people were working but their earnings fell 2.5%. the poverty rate was essentially flat at 15% uaffecting some 46 million people. and there was some good news on the health front. the ranks of uninsured americans fell to 28 fraet.6 million, and the percentage with private insurance held steady for the first time in a techade. to help break this down we turn to david leonhardt, washington bureau chief for the "new york times." he writes frequently on economics. and, david, thank you for joining us. give us the big picture here what's the big piure you took from this report in terms of the economic situation for average american families.
>> well, the situation is not good. what we've had, essentially, over the last now more than a decade, is we had a really mediocre, disappointing economic expansion last decade. and then we had a terrible crisis that more than erased the gains that people had made, and that explanation why, as you said, income is back down to its level of the mid- to late 1990s, and the poverty rate is relatively high. >> warner: which you fnd more ominou that the median household income fell or that, even though more people are working, the average wage also fell? >> well, we've had a little bit of a change. in the early part of this last few years, in the recession itself, we had huge job loss. but we also for people working, still had wages going up more quickly than inflation, in part because inflation was quite low. now we've sort of had a turn-about in which we've started to see a recovery in
employment theery beginnings of a recovery, to be sure. we're nowhere near recovered. but wage gains have fallen behind inflation, both because of labor market is so weak that it's hard for workers to get raise, and because over different periods we've had increases, particularly in energy prices displarg are the-- is it the new jobs that are being created that are particularly low wage, or are wages depressed throughout? >> we don't want to overstate the extent to which the new jobs that are being created are low wag there areome hier wage jobs being created. look at the unemployment rate for college graduate. it's still only 4%. there are good jobs, high-wage jobs being created in the economy. but the full mix of jobs is not skewed toward high-wage jobs. if anything, there are some high-wage jobs. there are a whole bunch of low-wage jobs, and there are not as many middle wage jobs as there used to be, in part, because manufacturing is-- is,
again, having a hard time displar.>> warner: the poverty s at near record levels but it remained flat. >> the poverty rate is tough to deal with. on the one hand, poverty in this country arguably does not get enough attention and the middle class arguably gets too much attention from those of us in the media. you want to use this as what seems a rare chance to focus on poverty. but this statistics is so flawed in so many different ways it's hard to pay too much heed to it. the main way in which it's flawed is it doesn't take into account a the things t government tries to do to alleviate poverty, many of the benefits the government gives out to the poor, benefits that rise from the recession are excluded from this it also doesn't treat regions differently. so you're right, people expected a little bit of an uptick.
i would actually say the right portrait of poverty are not the numbers that come out today. they're the numbers that come out other times of year that give a richer sense of the experiences people are actually having than the poverty rat gives. >>arner: and,avid, this report was also another bit of information about income inequality, and in fact it is rising. >> it's continuing to rise. this doesn't give us a picture of the very top of the income distribution. we need other numbers for that. but this does focus all the way up to the 95th percentile, and what we see is by almost any measurement, income inequality is higher than it has been in the decades that the census department has been releasing data. whether you look at someone at the top, the near top-- say the 90th percente compareto the middle or look at the middle compared to the bottom, from an economic perspective we are as unequal a country as we have been for at least many decades. >> warner: there was some good
news on the health insurance front with fewer people being uninsured in actual terms. what explanation that? >> two things, really. one is that during a downturn, you often have more people go on to medicaid, which is a government program largely, though not exclusively, for low-income people. and the second thing, the health care bill so parts have taken efft soou ve younger people who are able to remain on their parents' insurance, for example. and there's really little doubt that we are seeing the early effects of the health care law in these numbers and that for all the other grimness, there are people who have health insurance today who would not, if it were not for the health care overhaul that passed in 2010. >> warner: david leonhardt of the "new york times," thank you. thank you for helping us sort through this. >> warner: we have two blog posts to help you better understand today's census report. on our "making sense" page, paul solmanooks at growing economic inequality and changes in poverty and household income. and on our "health" page, we
explore why the number of americans lacking health insurance fell last year for the first time since the recession began. >> woodruff: again, the other major developments of the day. president obama condemned the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya that killed ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. intelligence officials said it might have been an al qaeda operation timed to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary. >> warships were sent towards the libyan coast. and in pakistan, the death toll topped 300 in two factory fires overnight. online, we map out al qaeda's global reach. hari sreenivasan has the details. >> sreenivasan: where in the world is al qaeda? find a map that shows where offshoots of the terrorist network are now operating, plus more about the significance of each faction. plus, i talked to author sasha issenberg about his new book, "the victory lab," which examines the science used by political operatives to try and win elections.
all that a more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, we'll look at what the federal reserve decides to do or not do to stimulate the economy. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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